Despite its new e-visa regime, it is still possible to obtain a visa on arrival in Istanbul.
Where To Obtain A Visa On Arrival In Istanbul (IST)
When Turkey transitioned to an e-visa system in 2013, numerous reports suggested that visa on arrival were no longer available. That is NOT the case. Even in Istanbul’s beautiful new airport, you can still obtain a visa on arrival.
When you land, follow the blue signs indicating passport control/transfer:
Eventually, you will come to a “Vize” sign (in black):
Follow the sign in the arrivals hall:
You’ll find a 24/7 staffed visa on arrival desk near the lines for passport control.
Who Can Obtain a Visa Upon Arrival In Istanbul?
Nationals from the following countries can obtain a visa on arrival in Istanbul:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Dominican Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- “Southern” Cyprus (lol)
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
How Much Does It Cost To Obtain A Visa On Arrival in Istanbul?
A visa on arrival can be paid in cash only and costs 30USD/25EUR/20GBP. At the moment, that makes paying in GBP the best value.
These are old-school sticker visas that are applied directly to your passport.
How Long Are Visa On Arrival In Istanbul Valid For?
Visa on arrival are valid for 180 days, but during that time you can spend no more than 90 days in Turkey. The visa are multiple-entry visas.
When It Makes Sense To Buy A Visa On Arrival
More nationalities than the list above can obtain visa in advance online through Turkey’s easy e-visa system. It’s also cheaper. So why would anyone wait till arrival?
Not everyone plans trips in advance and Turkey recommends you apply for an e-visa at least 48 hours in advance, though usually processing takes 24 hours. If you need a same-day trip to Istanbul, a visa on arrival can be a lifesaver.
The ability to secure a visa upon arrival in Istanbul is a great back-up option if you do not have the time to secure an e-visa. While the 20USD e-visa makes sense in almost all cases, rest assured you can still easily obtain a visa on arrival in Istanbul.
> Read More: How I Tried (and Failed) to Enter Turkey